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Federal Register Highlights – 12/11/15

December 11, 2015

Unpublished, time-sensitive and proposed rules for December 11, 2015:

PROPOSED RULE: The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) proposes to amend the Cotton Board Rules and Regulations to remove the cotton import de minimis provision. The Cotton Research and Promotion (R&P) Program assesses U.S. cotton producers and importers of cotton and cotton-containing products. Importers are exempt from paying the cotton import assessment (known commonly among importers as the ‘‘cotton fee’’) if a line item on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) documentation is $2.00 or less. The exemption was initially established to lessen the administrative burden of collecting an import assessment, which was originally estimated to be $2.00 per line item, in instances in which the transactions costs of the collection would exceed the actual value of the assessment. However, technological advances in the CBP documentation process significantly reduced the transactions costs associated with collecting import assessments, and CBP has since stopped charging USDA for the processing and collecting of assessments. Given that transactions costs no longer exceed assessment rates of $2.00 or less, AMS proposes to remove this de minimis provision from the regulations. In addition, the definition of cotton with respect to procedures for conducting the sign-up period would also be modified. Comments must be received on or before January 11, 2016. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov, reference Docket Number AMS-CN-14-0037.)

PROPOSED RULE: The DA [(Department of the Army)] proposes to revise its regulation concerning the carrying of firearms and use of force for law enforcement, security, counterintelligence, and protective services on DoD installations worldwide. It establishes uniform policy for the use of force by law enforcement and security personnel. Consideration will be given to all comments received by: February 9, 2016. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov, reference Docket Number USA-2015-0013.)

TEMPORARY RULE: The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad swing span drawbridge across Des Allemands Bayou, mile 14.0, at Des Allemands, St. Charles and Lafourche Parishes, Louisiana. This deviation is necessary to perform two extensive rest pier rehabilitations to the bridge. This deviation allows the bridge to remain in its closed-to-navigation position for three eight-hour periods during three consecutive days on two separate occasions. This deviation is effective from 7 a.m. on January 13, 2016 through 3 p.m. on January 22, 2016.

PROPOSED RULE: This proposed rule establishes the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) and provides guidance, assigns responsibilities, and prescribes procedures for identifying a family member with special needs, and coordinating travel at government expense for family members of active duty Service members who meet the Department of Defense (DoD) criteria for identifying a family member with special needs. This proposed rule also prescribes procedures for processing DoD civilian employees who have family members with special needs for an overseas assignment and providing family support services. Comments must be received by February 9, 2016. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov, reference Docket Number DOD-2011-OS-0127.)

PROPOSED RULE: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing a Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) rule that requires public water systems to collect occurrence data for contaminants that may be present in tap water but are not yet subject to EPA’s drinking water standards set under SDWA. This rule, revised every five years as required by SDWA, benefits public health by providing EPA and other interested parties with scientifically valid data on the national occurrence of selected contaminants in drinking water, such as cyanotoxins associated with harmful algal blooms. This data set is one of the primary sources of information on occurrence, levels of exposure and population exposure the Agency uses to develop regulatory decisions for emerging contaminants in the public drinking water supply. This proposal identifies eleven analytical methods to support water system monitoring for a total of 30 chemical contaminants/ groups, consisting of ten cyanotoxins/ groups; two metals; eight pesticides plus one pesticide manufacturing byproduct (hereinafter collectively referred to as “pesticides”); three brominated haloacetic acid groups of disinfection byproducts; three alcohols; and three semivolatile organic chemicals. EPA is also announcing a public webinar to discuss this proposal of the fourth Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule. Comments must be received on or before February 9, 2016. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov, reference Docket Number EPA-HQ-OW-2015-0218.)

PROPOSED RULE: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are proposing to revise regulations governing the exercise of non-Federal oil and gas rights in order to improve our ability to protect refuge resources, visitors, and the general public’s health and safety from potential impacts associated with non-Federal oil and gas operations located within U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service refuge units. Non-Federal oil and gas development refers to oil and gas activities associated with any private, State, or tribally owned mineral interest where the surface estate is administered by the Service as part of the Refuge System. The existing non- Federal oil and gas regulations have remained unchanged for more than 50 years and provide vague guidance to staff and operators. This proposed rule would make the regulations consistent with existing laws, policies and industry practices. It is designed to provide regulatory clarity and guidance to oil and gas operators and refuge staff, provide a simple process for compliance, incorporate technological improvements in exploration and drilling technology, and ensure that non-Federal oil and gas operations are conducted in a manner that avoids or minimizes impacts to refuge resources. Comments on this proposed rule must be received on or before February 9, 2016. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov, reference Docket Number FWS-HQ-NWRS-2012-0086.)

PROPOSED RULE: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (hereinafter Service or we) is proposing to establish the 2016–17 hunting regulations for certain migratory game birds. We annually prescribe frameworks, or outer limits, for dates and times when hunting may occur and the number of birds that may be taken and possessed in hunting seasons. These frameworks are necessary to allow State selections of seasons and limits and to allow recreational harvest at levels compatible with population and habitat conditions. You must submit comments on the proposed migratory bird hunting frameworks by January 11, 2016. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov, reference Docket Number FWS-HQ-MB-2015-0034.)

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